Overcoming the depression that generates Christmas is a challenge

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    Christmas is not all happiness. For many people it is a season of depression, sadness and isolation that prevents them from enjoying, so it is a challenge to overcome those feelings of depression.

    The social pressure to enjoy and be happy during these festivities pushes just the opposite: to depress and stress many people to unsuspected limits, says psychologist Raymundo Calderón Sánchez.

    “There are people who say they hate Christmas because it means particular things, either because at that time there were love breakups, a divorce, the loss of a loved one,” said Efe Calderón Sánchez, National Director of Psychology at the Universidad del Valle of Mexico (UVM).

    “But it is not hatred, they are elements of a socio-emotional nature that are a challenge to overcome in people,” he added.

    “I hate Christmas and everything related to these dates,” says José Luis Hernández, for whom every year seeing the beginning of December in the calendar is a martyrdom.

    José Luis does not remember any special situation that makes him feel like this the days before 24, he only knows that when those dates arrive he locks himself up.

    For many people like José Luis Christmas represents a real nightmare, because it saddens and depresses him. “Actually I feel like I hate these dates,” he explains.

    For him, as for almost 4% of the world population, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the struggle to spend those days is intense, because they have to avoid the symptoms of depression to prevent the rest of people notice that they are having a bad time.

    The latest study conducted by the National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, conducted in 2010, revealed that at least 4.4 million people suffered seasonal depression in Mexico.

    This disorder not only affects psychiatric patients, but can occur in any other person during the winter season, whose changes of light interfere in the emission of mood regulating substances and sleep.

    However, Calderón Sánchez assures that this is not exclusive to the Christmas season, although the sentiment is enhanced at this time.

    “There is a social perception that Christmas is being with the presence of the family, there is a social budget that generates pressure in the sense that we have to be happy with those we love or want,” she says.

    However, there are people who can not enjoy Christmas and come to feel anger, frustration, sadness, a strong depression that, in extreme cases, can lead to suicide, “but that happens when the individual has a previous depression and loneliness. Christmas is just a pretext, “said the expert.

    Calderón Sánchez clarifies that there is no reliable data that at Christmas or New Year the number of people who take their lives increases significantly.

    According to the latest report of the National Institute of statistics and geography, published in 2013, at least in that year, May was the month in which more suicides were recorded in the country with a total of 470, while December the number fell to 391 and in January there were 386 deaths.

    Therefore, the specialist recommended to those people who do not enjoy these dates try to be accompanied, have a balanced diet and avoid as much as possible the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

    “Many times there is social pressure to consume alcohol but once finished the euphoria that produces this, levels of depression rise and there may be suicidal behavior,” he explained.
    In the same way, he asked, preferably, to avoid exchanges of gifts.
    “It is one of the mistakes that major psychological problems cause some people, because they generate expectations and when the expectation is not covered, there is internal frustration.”

    Finally, he recommended those who do enjoy these festivities not to force those who do not feel happy at Christmas.

    “Because a person who already took work to make the decision to go to the holiday, you can repent and that attitude can have counterproductive effects,” he concluded.

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